Couple days ago I had the pleasure to interview Mark Molnar, a Hungarian concept artist who was kind enough to answer a few questions about the industry and his life as an artist. His story is truly inspiring and his works are mind blowing.
He is one of the few concept artists that have an unmistakable character to their works. You can recognize his style in every single piece he creates.
You can read the interview below.
When did you start your journey as an artist, and what led you on this path?
I was always drawing as far as I can remember and was lucky enough to get into a fine art class in high school, thanks to the support and push of my parents.
After that I went to the Hungarian University of Art and Design (MOME) to learn Visual Communication, where I graduated with a Masters degree focus on illustration and graphic design.
When I graduated I already had a small client base as a freelance illustrator / concept artist and I slowly started to build my career from there
Since then I worked for numerious companies, lived on 3 continents and met and worked together with loads of awesome likeminded people.
Do you use any traditional mediums? Which are your favorites?
I started painting traditionally using oils and acrylics mainly, but now I create all my professional works digitally. Unfortunately its not possible to use traditional mediums in a fast paced production environment, but I am still doing pencil and marker sketches every day. I really would like to get back to painting with oils just for myself, but its a bit hard to find the time beside my full time job and other personal projects.
I think that you would certainly agree that there is a lot of concept art work on the market these days, how do you differentiate yours from the rest?
Actually I am really happy that there are more and more people are interested in concept art and entertainment design, because it really pushes the standard of the industry. It is also harder to stand out of course – I don`t really know how my works are different to be honest, it is hard to judge your own creations. People are saying I have a distinctive style, but I can`t really see that. I am just trying to do my best in every project and get better in what I am doing – I still have a lot to learn.
What do you think is the most challenging part about being a concept artist?
Adapting to various projects and keeping yourself motivated through the whole length of a project is probably the hardest. As a production artist you can`t really allow yourself to have an artistic block or lose motivation in the middle of the production, because a whole team depend on your work. It was also hard that I am not allowed to show my best works for years because of copyright reasons, but after a while you get used to this.
How do you promote yourself?
I have my website (http://markmolnar.com), I have blogs, what I try to update every day (http://momarkmagic.blogspot.com, http://momarkmagic.tumblr.com, http://instagram.com/mark_molnar_instagram/), I have YouTube channel, where I post my tutorial videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/artofmarkmolnar/) and you can also reach me on my personal Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mark.molnar.980).
What’s the most valuable art advice you’ve ever received?
It’s actually a quote I have read:
“The only real failure in life is giving up. On looking back let it stand to our credit in life’s balance sheet that at least we tried, and tried hard.” – A.G. Street
I know that you are currently working on your personal project “Behind the Pixel”. Could you share a few words on it? Also, what inspired you to start a personal project?
Behind the Pixels is a tutorial artbook covering the workflow of concept art used in the entertainment industry. It is intended to show the creative thoughts and design process behind the production artworks created for films, games and animation projects. For more info about the book and it`s crowdfunding campaign go to the IT`S ART project page: http://itsartm.ag/markmolnar .
I was always working on my own personal projects and putting together a book was an old dream of mine. First I wanted to create just a sketchbook, then a book about speedpainting and other ideation techniques I use, then it is sort of escalated to much broader thing.
I am a compulsive reader of art books and non-fiction. Could you share some of your favorite art books, or some of your favorite books in general?
Favorite books are really hard, because they are simply too many of them, but I can share the list of artbook, what are the most valuable for an artist, who would like to work in the industry:
– James Gurney: Color and Light
– James Gurney: How to paint what doesn`t exist
– Art Fundamentals by 3dTotal Publishing
– Marcos Mateu-Mestre: Framed Ink
– Bammes Anatomy
– All Andrew Loomis books about general fundamentals for illustration
What is an average Wednesday like in the life of Mark Molnar?
Wednesday? Nothing really special… I wake up somewhere 6:30 and 7am, I have a quick breakfast, go to the gym to do my morning exercise. I get to work between 8:30 and 9am and I usually do some sketching in the first one hour or so to warm-up my brain for the day. From 9:30-10 till about 6pm I have my usual workday in the studio working on my daily tasks. After that I go home and after a quick dinner I work a bit on my personal projects or simply spending time with my fiance and watching a movie…
Who are your role models, could you name three persons — dead or alive — who inspire you, or significantly influenced your life?
If I can only pick three I would probably say Syd Mead, Ralph McQuarrie and Craig Mullins, because they were the ones who established the form of entertainment design as it is today. Beside them I admire a lot of old masters from the renaissance till the 19th century and also a lot of contemporary artists and writers, but the list would be way to long for this interview.
Once again, I would like to thank Mark for taking the time to answer these questions for pixelstans.net — I know his schedule is really tight and I truly appreciate his effort.
Please check out Mark’s website at www.markmolnar.com, and don’t forget to follow him on facebook and youtube. He has tons of awesome tutorials — Enjoy.